Contrarian Insurance Executive Hits Hartford’s CEO Choice as ‘Outsourcing’

October 7, 2009

The hiring of former Bank of America executive Liam McGee as the new chief executive officer of the Hartford Financial Services Group “elevates outsourcing to a new and dangerous level,” charges Bob MacDonald, former CEO of Allianz Life of North America and self-described financial services contrarian.

Writing in his blog,, MacDonald claims the Hartford board struggled to find an internal candidate to replace the exiting CEO Ramani Ayer before turning to outside candidates.

“The more qualified the individual was, the less interest they expressed in the Hartford top job,” he maintains.

So, says MacDonald, the firm hired McGee, “an unemployed banker who was forced out of Bank of America in a management shakeup in August. Worse, McGee has never run his own company and knows nothing of either the insurance industry or Hartford.”

According to MacDonald, all may not be lost. “After all,” MacDonald added, “Mr. McGee had at least two qualifications the other candidates lacked: he needed the job and he was willing to take it.”

MacDonald was formerly CEO of ITT Life, wholly-owned by The Hartford. He founded LifeUSA, which he sold to Allianz SE in 1999 $540 million and became CEO of Allianz Life of North America. Since 2002 MacDonald has headed CTW Consulting, LLC, offering his advice on management and corporate culture.

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